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Adaptability Contextualism and the Composition of Discourse Meaning

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Adaptability, Contextualism, and the Composition of Discourse Meaning


Recent Call for Papers

Call Deadline: 15-Sep-2014


Call for Papers:

Papers are invited on semantic, pragmatic and philosophical approaches to the contextualism debate. Of particular interest are questions such as: 

(i) What is the exact relation between the flexibility of meaning of linguistic expressions and the input they bring to the composition process? We know that context imposes constraints on adaptability but neither the starting point for this adaptation (context-free conceptual content, on the assumption it can be individuated) nor the extent of the modifications (the resulting context-dependent concept) have been properly discussed;

(ii) Does compositionality require the contextual adaptability of word meaning to be rigidly constrained by lexical semantics, in the spirit of indexicalism, or is there room for a more liberal, pragmatics-oriented understanding of compositionality (Szabó 2001)? 

(iii) Is it correct to talk about the ‘adaptability of word meaning’ or should the unit that undergoes such adaptation be understood more dynamically – especially as regards idiomatic, metaphorical and formulaic expressions? 

(iv) How is compositionality of meaning of incomplete utterances to be approached when the missing material, unlike in the case of ellipsis, cannot be regarded as uniquely recoverable?

(v) How does the adaptability of meaning fare with the strict indexical/nonindexical distinction? Data-based enquiries provide increasing evidence that words mix indexical and non-indexical properties. How is this linguistic fact to be reconciled with the binary distinction on the level of concept types?

If you are interested in presenting a paper in this panel, please send your abstract (max. 500 words, not including references and data) by 15 September 2014 to the following address: ls593@cam.ac.uk

Please Note:

a) All abstracts, even if accepted by the panel organizer, will have to be submitted individually (web-based submission to IPrA) by 15 October 2014.
b) IPrA membership is required both for the web-based submission and, later on, for presentation at the 14th International Pragmatics Conference.


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